The Best Amazon Prime Car Shows That Aren’t the Grand Tour
Netflix isn’t the only streaming service with automotive programming. After ‘leaving’ Top Gear, Clarkson, Hammond, and May attempted to recreate their formula on Amazon Prime in the form of The Grand Tour. And while the show is now in its 4th season, it’s safe to say their pseudo-juvenile recipe has gotten a little…stale. Exhibit 1: their recent special, a boating film entitled ‘Seamen.’ Luckily, there are other Amazon Prime car shows that also deserve your attention.
The Gymkhana Files
Ken Block and his company, Hoonigan Industries, have become household names in recent years. Although he’s transitioned in recent years to rally racing and epic hill climbs, Block rose to Internet fame through his Gymkhana drift videos. And in The Gymkhana Files, viewers can see just how much work it takes to make one.
The Amazon Prime car show has one 8-episode season. It kicks off right after The Hoonigans finish Climbkhana, the film centered around the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. The show goes through a detailed behind-the-scenes look at each step in the production of Gymkhana 10, from the frustrations of car building to the seemingly-simple task of coordinating schedules.
If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to make one of those amazing car videos you see on YouTube, The Gymkhana Files is worth a watch.
Grand Prix Driver
Drive to Survive isn’t the only Formula One TV series. Like its Netflix competitor, Grand Prix Driver is a behind-the-scenes look at what makes an F1 team tick.
This Amazon Prime car show specifically follows the McLaren team during the 2017 pre-season. At the time, McLaren was going on 3 years without a win, despite having two-time champion Fernando Alonso on its team. Road & Track reports it was also the first season for the team’s new boss, Zak Brown, and the debut season of rookie Stoffel Vandoorne.
Although Grand Prix Driver isn’t as up-to-date as Drive to Survive is—the Netflix show just got a 2nd season—it is easier to binge-watch. There are only 4 episodes, totaling 2 hours.
Le Mans: Racing is Everything
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is a race that’s created legends. Companies like Bugatti and Porsche owe their reputations in part to this race, as does Ford. It’s also the instigation for the story behind Ford vs. Ferrari. And if that movie left you wanting to know more, Le Mans: Racing is Everything is for you.
As with The Gymkhana Files and Grand Prix Driver, this Amazon Prime car show follows several Le Mans teams in the build-up to the 2016 race, Jalopnik reports. But before that, the 6-episode show goes into the history of the race, how the track evolved, and some of the spectacular moments from races past.
One of the reasons why car enthusiasts in the US were so drawn to Top Gear was the opportunity to see some forbidden fruit. Cars that we either never got or couldn’t get, from hot hatchbacks to high-performance supercars. And, luckily, there’s one Amazon Prime car show that does something very similar. It’s called Hot-Version, and it’s not from Japan, not Europe.
Originally, R&T and The Drive explain, Hot-Version was a series of videos released on YouTube by the now-defunct Japanese publication Best Motoring. The magazine focused on Japanese tuner culture, and its YouTube videos all centered around Japanese racing drivers pitting two cars against each other on actual racetracks or the type of mountain roads that inspired Initial D.
Hot-Version’s move to Amazon Prime means not only officially-subbed versions of the videos, it also means seeing some clips that never made it onto YouTube.
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